The rich history of the rock caves date back to about the 1st century BC when King Walagamba found refuge in them during his period in exile. As such, the magnificent rock caves are foremost among Dambulla attractions. When he later regained his throne, he had the caves carved into glorious rock temples laden with a number of statues and murals, which were later improved by King Nissanka Malla who even had the interior gilded, earning the name Ran Giri or Golden Rock. The Dambulla Golden Temple sitting at the foot of the hill boasts an intricately carved 30 meter high Buddha image.
Some of the other main Dambulla attractions include the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, which is most popularly known for having been constructed in just 167 days. The largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia too sits in this glorious city of Dambulla. The Iron Wood Forest, also known as the Namal Uyana and the Ibbankatuwa pre-historic burial site which is one of the latest archaeological sites found in Dambulla, are among other attractions.